If you're looking for a new cell plan, you may have spotted the name Xfinity pop up a few times. That makes sense given it's a spinoff of Comcast but you might also be left wondering what that actually means for you and whether you should take the plunge with Xfinity. More importantly, you're probably also asking yourself what cell phone network it uses as that's going to affect your quality of service. The short answer is that Xfinity uses Verizon's network. You may also wonder what tie does it have to Xfinity Internet? Yup, we get it. Don't worry. We can answer all these questions, and expand on them below.
What is Xfinity?
Xfinity was launched by Comcast in 2017. It's known as a mobile virtual network operator (or MVNO) which means it piggybacks off the existing network of a more major cell phone carrier. That's Verizon's network in this case which tops our ranking of the best cellphone providers right now. Xfinity Mobile is available exclusively to Comcast subscribers as a form of bundling deal by the company. You'll need to be signed up with Comcast and use Xfinity Internet to also sign up to Xfinity Mobile.
Subscribers are able to choose between an unlimited data plan or opting to pay only for the data they use. Unlimited talk and text is included whatever you choose, data wise. Xfinity Mobile users also pay no access fees for up to five lines.
What network does Xfinity currently use?
Xfinity uses Verizon's network for its signal and general network capabilities. While it's branded as Xfinity, it's basically Verizon in all but name. MVNOs typically work like this so that you can enjoy the benefits of a major cell phone network albeit with other bonuses, such as those that Xfinity offer due to being part of Comcast.
What benefits do Comcast subscribers get?
If you sign up to Xfinity Mobile, you can use the Xfinity Stream TV app on your phone to stream live TV, on-demand content and shows stored on a cloud-DVR wherever you are. It's all part of the idea that Comcast wants you to go all-in with its services. Xfinity Mobile works pretty much like any other wireless carrier but you'll need to maintain a Comcast subscription to use it. On the plus side, if your signal drops at any time, your connection automatically switches over to a Comcast Wi-Fi hotspot if there's one in range. Comcast reckons it has about 19 million hotspots around the country so you should be covered.
Verizon has offered 5G since 2019 so it stands to reason that Xfinity Mobile also offers 5G, right? Right! Since May 2020, Xfinity Mobile has 5G capabilities and you don't have to pay extra to use it. That actually means that Xfinity customers who pay for unlimited data get the same service as Verizon customers but for less.
Of course, you'll need a 5G-ready phone so check out our look at the best smartphones to learn more about that.
Verizon 5G and therefore Xfinity covers 2,700 cities and towns across the country although the speeds aren't always much faster than LTE/4G.
Do you need to sign up to a contract to use Xfinity?
Nope. You can cancel Xfinity Mobile within 30 days of your next billing cycle date and that's that. There's no minimum contract length involved. So, what's the catch?
Honestly, there's no significant catch to using Xfinity Mobile but there are a few caveats. As is often the way with MVNOs, you can enjoy all the benefits of a major network - i.e. Verizon - without being as tied in or spending as much as you would with the big name brand. Of course, you do need to be a Comcast member and to have Xfinity Internet to be able to sign up to Xfinity which may be an issue for some people.
You'll also need to have a certain type of phone to use Xfinity Mobile. These include all iPhones then the Samsung Galaxy range and the Google Pixel range of Android phones. Xfinity offers a compatibility checker to help you get started.
Is Xfinity Mobile worth it?
If you're an existing Comcast subscriber and already use Xfinity Internet then Xfinity Mobile is well worth checking out. It's cheap and should offer very good signal strength around the country.
However, if you're not an existing customer then the decision is trickier. It'll require you to switch over to Comcast for many of your services which might not be appealing if you're happy with your existing services. Still, you will benefit from the strength of Verizon's cell phone signal which is pretty great.